Monday, June 23

HOW TO: Make Korean Noodle Bowls

Noodle Bowls are one of the easiest and greatest thing to learn how to make. Just by changing around a few key ingredients, you have have endless possibilities. Noodle bowls cook up fast, are hearty, are very impressive to serve, and can be made with limited funds. This fantastic staple of the Korean culinary world can be your new favorite weeknight or anytime dish.

First lets start with the four major elements of building a noodle bowl:
1) Noodles: this is a "noodle bowl" after all. You can get several types of noodles on the market, rice, egg, or for great cost savings use angel hair pasta! Any of these will work just fine, the heavier and thicker the noodle the heavier the heartiness of the dish.
2) Protein: every bowl has to have a protein. One of the key factors in the noodle bowls, is the balanced meal aspect. A protein helps round out this dish. It can be chicken, beef, pork, seafood, tofu, or even fried eggs.
3) Sauce: homemade, bottled, elaborate or simple, really does not matter. You just need a sauce of some sort. The most simple sauce would be equal amounts of vegetable stock to soy sauce. Just be creative terriayki, hosin, ginger, anthything goes.

4) Vegetables: this is the majority of a noodle bowl. Vegetables act as not only fillet but, they create textural differences, visual appeal, and well rounded healthiness. 

Now that we have our elements defined lets see what we will need to create this yummy meal for four.

You will need:

1 lb noodles of your choice (you will need to prepare these according to package instructions while cooking remaining ingredients)

1 lb protein of your choice, cut into this slices roughly 1/4" thick and 1 1/2"- 2" long
4 cups mixed vegetables, chopped and sliced. A few notes: mushroom cook longer so do not mix them in if using, I am using shallots, carrots, celery, and peppers, a very common blend.
2 1/2-3 cups sauce (I am using sweet chili sauce)
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water 
8 tbsp butter, in 2 tbsp increments
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Now let us begin:

Begin to prepare your noodles according to package another words, start your water boiling and go from there.

Chop and mix your vegetables in a large bowl and set 2 tbsp aside with them.

Clean mushrooms, if using and set aside 2 tbsp of butter with them.

Make sure protein is cleaned and slice, set 2 tbsp of butter aside with it.

Once all your elements are gathered, we can begin.

In a large deep sauté pan or wok, heat 2 tbsp butter for mushroom and vegetable oil in a pan over medium high heat. 

Cook mushrooms for 5-8 minutes or until they are beginning to get soft and golden.

Add vegetables and 2 tbsp butter into the pan, cooking for an additional 5-8 minutes are until all vegetables are soft and easily pierced with a fork.

Move vegetables into a bowl and set aside for now.

By now your noodles should be cooked and you will want to drain them. Save at minimum 1 cup water just in case they get sticky latter.

Add 2 tbsp butter and 1 1/2 cups sauce into the noodles, mix them well, and set aside.

Back to the other pan, add remaining 2 tbsp of butter into the pan and allow it to melt down.

Add in your protein and cook thoroughly.

Once protein is cooked completely, add the vegetables back into the pan along with 1 cup sauce and cook until vegetables are heated back to a nice hot temperature.

Time to plate and serve, start with putting a nice pile of noodles into the bottom of a deep bowl. If they got sticky, add a tiny bit of the reserved water and stir them up to loosen them.

Add a nice heaping scoop of proteins and vegetables.

Drizzle remaining sauce across the top, serve and cheers!